Over the weekend, a Pacifica resident captured video of a mountain lion — possibly a juvenile — crouched in his yard apparently watching children playing on their bikes outside.
The big cat can be seen lying at the end of the resident's walkway, peering between the slats of a picket fence gate. Upon hearing something from the doorway of the house (the video has no sound), the cat looks back, gets up, and then jumps over the fence in a different direction, and ends up hiding underneath a car — just like a house cat!
The uploader of the video, identified as Timothy Kerrisk, says this was shot on Linda Mar Boulevard in Pacifica — and he says the audio was removed because it was "just me yelling for the neighbor across the street to come down and grab the kids."
I'm no mountain lion expert, but perhaps someone who is can identify the approximate age of this guy or gal by the cat's size. It looks young and small.
And there's no confirmation, obviously, that it wanted to prey on the kids, but it was watching them.
A juvenile male mountain lion who went wandering through San Francisco after perhaps recently leaving his mother's care on the Peninsula made some headlines in June after being spotted in multiple city neighborhoods before being captured. The cat was credited with being the likely culprit in the killing of three marsupials at the SF Zoo the week prior to these sightings.
That mountain lion, estimated to be between 12 and 18 months old, was released back into the wild on the Peninsula, only to be found dead by the side of Highway 1 in Pacifica a couple of weeks later.
Experts at the time said that young male mountain lions often meet these tragic ends because they tend to wander a bit aimlessly while they're seeking out their own territory.
These North American cougars, which are part of the genus Puma, are not frequently spotted by people despite their presence in the Bay Area, because they often don't make their presence too obvious in heavily populated areas. This curious cat seen in daylight hours was a rarity — this interactive map from the Bay Area Puma Project shows very few verified cougar sightings in the Pacifica area at any hour of the day, let alone in broad in daylight.